Thursday, December 20, 2018

"Preemptive Blaming"

Does this ring a bell?  There is the possibility you might fail at something, so you disseminate an exonerating excuse well in advance.

That reminds me of someone.  I just cannot recall who. 

In this case, however, it’s me.

Here’s the deal.

Apparently, after reaching a certain age, you are required to take a written test in order to renew your Driver’s License, as if as you get older, it’s not your physical responses that deteriorate, it’s your ability to recall how many feet you must park away from a fire hydrant.  

I have been assiduously studying the California Driver Handbook and taken, to this point, seventeen Practice Tests.  Anticipating an unlikely but possible negative outcome in this matter, I find myself primed and ready to divert responsibility.

Because that’s what a Real Man does, don’t you know.

They find someone else to blame for their failure.

I know this is hardly original.

But, in this current predicament, I blame the “System” itself.  And I am calling them out ahead of time.

Call it the “Pre-Blame.”

I want you to know that I truly believe I have a viable case.  (Although I do not think that is unusual.)

Tell me if you agree.

There was a question on one of the Practice Tests I tried:

“How many models of moped are there – A – 2; B – 3; or C – 5?”

First:  What does the number of moped models have to do with my ability to drive a car?

And Second:  As far as I know, mopeds, let alone models of mopeds, are mentioned nowhere in the California Driver Handbook.

So how am I supposed to know the answer!

Grievance Number Two:  Road signs.   

Sure, you have to understand the meaning of the various road signs you may commonly encounter.  But is it really important, as reflected in various questions on the Practice Tests,

How many sides does a “Stop” sign have?

“What color are ‘Regulatory Signs’?”

What shape are “Warning Signs”?    

What does any of that matter?  You obey what it says on the sign, no matter what shape or color it is.  Should I really be at risk of losing my license because I am unaware “Destination Signs” are green and white?

There are a hundred and twelve pages in California’s Driver Handbook, including tips concerning driving on icy, snow-packed thoroughfares and slippery hills. 

It’s like I’m taking a Driver’s Test in Vermont.

And I can’t tell you how seriously focused these Practice Tests are about turning onto one-way streets.  Especially from other one-way streets.  Listen.  In the entire city of Santa Monica, I do not recall driving on one one-way street.  Yet, there are all these questions.  About one-way streets with one lane, and one-way streets with two lanes, and turning from the “one” to the “two”, and turning from the “two” to the “one.” 

What is this crazy obsession with one-way streets?

And please stand back, because my head might blow off.

I expect “minutiae” on government tests, and assiduous study has helped my assimilation thereof.  You have to keep at least three feet away when passing a bicyclist, and check your mirror every 2-5 seconds.  Oh yeah.  And NEV means “Neighborhood Electrical Vehicle.”  (So if I hit one, I won’t need to ask, “What is that?”)

Full Disclosure:  I have never scored a hundred on a Practice Test, though I got 98 twice.  On the other hand, at least one occasion, I scored “84” and the pass-fail cutoff is “83.”  I tell ya, I’d hate that not knowing how much a three-axle vehicle is allowed to tow could spell the difference between an independent driver and a lifetime of Lyft.

I accept having to take the test. 

But how about a reasonably fair chance of passing?

Oh, yeah.  There is also a vision test involved. 

Hey, do you think they might slip in a few letters that are not in the alphabet?

Judging by what they include on those Practice Tests, I would not put it past them.


I have an excuse for both things.

I am now ready to take the tests.    


FFS said...

Earl, come on back to Ontario. They don’t require a written test until you are 80.

Mrs. Webb said...

I'm right behind you, well, at a safe distance, and I imagine my home state will require re-testing too. Not only is it for safety reasons, but it's another income source for the states, and Lord knows they can never have enough income sources. I will not be surprised if my state requires re-testing of the driving portion as well as the written. Good luck to us all!

Unknown said...

Love your observations, Earl. I met you a year ago at "The Ranch". I hope we cross paths there again, soon. Keep'm coming.

P Boyer